The eight worldly preoccupations (or concerns) or samsaric dharmas are where all one’s actions are governed by:
- hope for happiness and fear of suffering,
- hope for fame and fear of insignificance,
- hope for praise and fear of blame,
- hope for gain and fear of loss;
* basically attachment and aversion.
Why be unhappy about something when it can be remedied? His Holiness the Dalai Lama notes that if we avoid or turn away from The Eight Worldly Concerns in our spiritual practice, we can reduce suffering.
What are you attached to? What do you have aversions to? See if they mirror the Eight Worldly Concerns:
1. Attachment to getting and keeping material things.
2. Aversion to not getting material things or being separated from them.
3. Attachment to praise, hearing nice words, and feeling encouraged.
4. Aversion to getting blamed, ridiculed, and criticized.
5. Attachment to having a good reputation.
6. Aversion to having a bad reputation.
7. Attachment to sense pleasures in general.
8. Aversion to unpleasant experiences.
Adapted from Living Wisdom with His Holiness The Dalai Lama by Don Farber and The Dalai Lama (Sounds True, 2006). Copyright (c) 2006 by Don Farber and the Dalai Lama. Reprinted by permission of Sounds True. Adapted from Living Wisdom with His Holiness The Dalai Lama by Don Farber and The Dalai Lama (Sounds True, 2006).